Friday, December 05, 2003

A World Without Children

Want to know what the consequences of not having children? Look at Japan.

Allison sent me a great article from Foreign Policy magazine on the population crisis in Japan.

Japan's reproduction rate is 1.32. The consequence for the economy -- falling production, plunging land values, and soaring taxes.

Women are choosing not to marry and have kids, because being a wife in Japan sucks. Men expect their wives to be mindless servants who fetch him a beer after his bath, peel him an apple, or keep the house spotless. They have little stature within the family.

I don't blame these women. I would probably do the same. But the impact of a low population rate is really interesting. They are going to have to rehaul their whole tax and pension system. They are trying to limit their tax burden to 50% of total income. With the low supply of workers, taxes threaten to go up to 60% to fund pension and health programs for the elderly.

Of course, some jerks in government are suggesting that women who haven't had kids should not be eligible for gov't benefits, since they've been off having freedom and fun rather than making babies.

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